An Enchanting Place
The state of New Mexico lies on the southwest border of the U.S. and holds a population that is rooted in the rich history of the region.
First occupied by Amerindian communities or pueblos, the mountain regions have been found to hold some of the oldest human remains in the "new world". The tribes lived on the land and utilized the minerals for their daily life and trade, establishing a flourishing, peaceful culture that had spread to the valleys of the Rio Grande by the 13th century."
It would remain a peaceful and undisturbed culture until the 1500s, when a Spanish explorer stumbled upon one of their pueblos, and mistakenly believed that he had discovered the famous seven cities of gold. While a concerted effort to find the other cities and their treasure was made by conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1540-1542, his treatment of the natives closed more doors than they opened, and colonization foundered until 1598, when an encampment at San Juan became the first European settlement in New Mexico.
The 1800s would see a tug-of-war over the entire state, with some portions being ceded by Napoleon to Spain, a large section reverting to Mexico, and the expanding of America, posing a threat to it all. Eventually the territory did enter statehood in 1912, and to the benefit of all, has become a highly desirable tourist destination often known as The Land of Enchantment for its rich atmosphere and history.